Philander Chase



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Chase wants Dudley to assist him in selling his house in Poughkeepsie. He describes plans to purchase a plantation in the New Orleans area with the money.




New Orleans


Poughkeepsie, NY, Boston, James Moore, Phil Ruggles, Olive, land, money


New Orleans June 13th 1807

My dear Brother,

Had you ever been, as I am now, separated from all your relations whose society is [missed] and esteemed in proportion to the distance which intervenes; you would not, I am sure, be so insensible to the fond wishes of an absent and far distant Brother as you certainly are to me. But one solitary letter have I re’d from you since I arrived in this place, in answer to the dozen (I was going to say) which I have sent you. Business or no business my dear Dear Dudley, I feel the neglect very sensibly.

From your letter I understand you had rec’d the [am’t] which I sent you, of the state of my affairs at Poug. The little property I have there I would that I had now with me. Could you not make a short trip thither and dispose of the whole, and remit me the surplus- after forgoing all expenses, and Philander $200 for the ensuing year? I mark the latter with emphasis that you may never forget that it is indeed, and as the sine qua non the only condition of his staying with you. Your goodness can find more proper objects on which to exercise itself than on the [on the] only ward of your loving Brother. (But to return to the House and lot [?] at Poughkeepsie) - I hereby give you full and ample power to sell, bargain, and deed away the said House and lot of mine in the Village of Poughkeepsie and state of New York as you shall think further - and the same I hope you will do as soon as you can - and transmit the Balance as above to any house in Boston or whoever I can draw and inform me of the same, by letter.

And now. Why won’t you [contrive] to do this soon - very soon? Dear Dad - [hunt] up my letters and note every particular and go over to that ungrateful place and do this Business. While then, pray [?] my honest Sexton James Moore - He has many of my things and some letters from me since I’ve been in this country, and will give you much information, [such] as may be useful in determining the price of the property be. I take Mr. Ruggles, my lawyer in Poughkeepsie, to be an honest man. Nevertheless I wish you to examine and understand everything you sell. This will be trouble to you I know, but, would not I do the same and ten times as much for you? Yea with all my heart.

Now you will ask what makes me so anxious to get this Money now - have I not enough and to spare? To tell you the truth my Brother - (Turn over and I will commence the story) I have some, and that a small notion to purchase a plantation in this prolific and rapidly Rising Country. I can do it in company with [another] and pay for it, in the course of Time. Some money must be paid down and some money must be on the spot to begin with - several places are in my eye of different value and prices - which to take I cannot tell till I know my means. Someone within [60-70] and some an 100 miles from this City. One of which fixes my attention in particular - it is about 70 miles up the River and on its banks - 8 acres in front, [?] on the River, and running back so far as to contain between 8 and 900 Acres of the Best of Land fit for Cotton Sugar or anything you wish to plant. It belongs, the individual half to a minor by a deed of Gift. Which deed permits the Guardian to sell if the interest be of [?] to the Child’s Maintenance. In other word, he will and can sell or give a deed and take a Mortgage on the property for the payment of 6 percent Interest, the other half must needs be paid nearly all downs. 60 acres are under good improvement. Two overall houses and a Cotton House - 60 or 70 herd of Cattle and 20 horses together with a sufficient number of Hogs. This is to be sold in the manner I tell you for 8,000 Dollars. With proper Care the Plantation may be made to bring in now 1,500 and in a few years 5,000 Dollars per annum. Suppose I would grapple with only [only] one half of this property it would put me out of this kind of Dependence my lifetime and be something for the Boys - [now] if you’ll [firnish] me with 3 or 4,000 Dollars I will do everything for you as for myself and not take in any partner at all in the business, which I consider to embrace more advantages than any bargain I have heard of since I’ve been in the place or in my life. Can’t you muster this sum my Dear Brother? If you can I will engage that by the time you come and see us which I hope will be in the course of 3 years that I will show you a plantation worth 3 thousand Dollars per annum: free of all expenses. This is a true history of the Business.

I had proceeded this for when the [?] avocation of my Profession called me away. And as I am just now informed that the vessel which carries this is soon to sail I can’t write much more - I had a [thou]sand things more to say - as how healthy and how [?] we both are - how peaceable and flourishing the state of our affairs is since the Reign of Terror is over - how much we want to see you and Olivea and our dear Boys - how often we pray for you all and bless your memory - to ask you if you have done the Business which I suggested relative to the [?] [Farm]? Whether (if that has not been [practicable]) it be possible to make my dear Father-in-Law any more happy and contended. But as Tully says all these things I forbear to mention.

Farewell dear Brother

Embrace our dear boys for

Philander Chase

Mary, love to all

Letter to Dudley Chase



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